Dmitri Lebedev siberia.accanto at gmail.com
Fri Oct 8 20:23:48 BST 2010

```Hello,
I want to support this guy's proposal.

I have to say winter roads are a totally different thing than "normal"

In summer, there's just no road at all. NO ROAD. If you need to get
somewhere, use river boats or helicopters.

The area where a winter road is can be a swamp, a scrub, a forest (taiga),
but there's no road in summer there, in fact in swamps it just can't be
there.

Even if one tries to build it there, he will hit one big obstacle called
permafrost. Basically, in permafrost areas, in a few metres under the
ground the land is frozen even by the end of summer. (that's because
yearly average temperatures are sub-zero). The layer above, that melts and
freezes with seasons, behaves very specifically.

First, water in the molten layer can't percolate down through the frozen
one below, and in plain areas just stays there, forming swamps, or just a
land that's wetter than average in your place. When it freezes, it expands
(since water is not a metal, it's most dense at +4 degrees, with
temperature going down it EXPANDS, and pushes all around making a big
pressure). Since the ground is uneven, guess what, if you put a road
there, the surface will be pushed from below UNEVENLY. That's why even
strong armed concrete does not guarantee the road will stand more than one
winter. Add swamps that are widespread in permafrost, and try to guess how
much it can cost to build a 200 km of a road.

To get the idea, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permafrost

So, that's why it's enormously costy to build a "normal" road there where
winter roads exist. In winter, when the temperature is below 0 degrees C
for MONTHS, ice is a stable and hard base and with a few work can make a
good road. BTW, ice is not as slippery as on the ice rink in your city.
You can ride on bare ice if the surface is rough. AND, in winter it snows,
so in a matter of 1-2 weeks the road is a stiff compressed snow, which is
as slippery as sand :)

To sum up: winter roads are very special and have to be treated with
respect and shown appropriately.

It can't be any type of highway that we have now. You can't put there
highway=unclassified, surface=ice and make a driver guess: "hmm, is that
road in 100 km to the north a normal one, or the navigator leads me into
swamps?"

Hope that explains better,
Dmitri.
Novosibirsk
--
ryba4 at ryba4.com   http://ryba4.com   icq 335635

```